Genesis of an Idea

Inspired to find new applications for their award winning STAR Blade®, the Uprise Team identified the constraints that plague access to renewable energy, particularly at the grid's edge, and set out to find solutions. Systematically, Uprise developed a host of innovations that either mitigated or eliminated each and every constraint, exposing new and promising opportunities across many markets.

This was the birth of the Mobile Power Station

Uprise Energy Cofounder and CEO, Jonathan Knight, was the special guest on the Beyond Zero Emissions radio show in Melbourne, Australia. This is an in-studio video of the interview that covered a lot of ground and is a great way to learn more about the company background and the portable wind turbine Uprise is bringing to market.

 

Background

Uprise’s foray into the wind industry came in the mid-‘90s, when John Knight’s renowned yacht company, Knight & Carver Yachtcenter (K&C), was approached to develop a solution for serial blade failures that plagued existing wind turbines around the globe.

Leveraging over 30 years of advanced composite experience, K&C was successful in developing a solution for thousands of inferior wind blades. In the process, K&C pioneered innovative blade construction and testing techniques that lead to the development of the SANDIA Labs certified, top-performing STAR Blade®.

Through these years of experience, Knight developed a deep appreciation for the constraints inherent in traditional wind turbines and used his aptitude as a creative engineer to develop a number of smart solutions.

The result of this lucrative effort is the Uprise Energy Mobile Power Station, a product Knight sees as his crowning achievement.


Throughout my career, from the boats we built to the wind turbines we serviced, it was always about solving a problem and giving the customer just what they wanted in the most efficient manner possible.
— John Knight, Cofounder / CTO
 

Business Philosophy

Uprise Energy is an example of conscientious capitalism, where the mission is to drive change in the world for the betterment of humanity, while maximizing shareholder interest. 

 
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John Knight
Co-founder / CTO

Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cal Maritime Academy, John founded and ran the globally recognized Knight & Carver Yachtcenter, a company that designed, engineered and built over 100 one-off custom yachts and oceangoing vessels ranging in size from 40'-120', all from the ground up. The company's repair division was the largest on the west coast of the Americas, where they serviced over 40,000 marine craft up to 400' in length. John is a serial innovator who is always looking for ways to improve efficiency; in doing so, he designed and engineered some of the most legendary and unique boats to sail the seas. 

The yacht company spun-off a wind energy division that manufactured and repaired turbine blades for GE, Florida Power & Light, Mitsubishi, Northern Power and other industry leaders. The wind company grew to nearly 400 employees and was one of the largest manufacturers of wind blades in the world; developing innovative construction techniques and culminating in the design and development of the U.S. Dept. of Energy Top 10 award winning STAR Blade®.

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Jonathan Knight
Co-Founder / CEO

A modern day entrepreneur that blends technology with business in creative ways, Jonathan is the architect behind the now patented Dancing with the Wind feature of the Mobile Power Station and has played an integral role in every facet of the wind turbine development and business creation.

As General Manager of Knight & Carver Yachtcenter and Knight & Carver Wind Group, Jonathan amassed years of experience in utility scale wind energy, engaged high-profile clients, managed hundreds of employees and implemented numerous successful business systems.

After exiting Knight & Carver and before launching Uprise, Jonathan was a consultant and expert witness on a variety of engineering, maritime and renewable energy projects for clients ranging from Audi of America to Gordon & Rees LLP.

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Nick Amodio
Chief Financial Officer

A seasoned financial professional, Nick has served as CPA for Arthur Andersen and CFO for category leaders, Rip Curl and Ektelon amongst others.

Nick is an expert with flex budgets and cost accounting. He has a track record of restructuring medium to large sized manufacturing companies in ways that improve efficiency and maximize profitability.

Specialties: Budgeting & Analysis, Internal Controls, Cash Management, Financial & Info Systems, Strategic Planning, Business Process Improvement, GAAP, Manufacturing, Cost Accounting, Cost Containment, Supplier Negotiations, Benefits and Insurance.

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Pete Traphagen
Engineer

Traphagen Engineering has designed and built custom machinery for the marine, manufacturing, agriculture, defense and mining industries. In the early 1990's Pete began providing digital electronic machine controls including PLC, PC, and related control system technologies. Prior to forming his company, Pete was involved in the offshore oil exploration industry where he innovated a number of advances in seismic sound source technology. Pete has solved numerous operational and manufacturing challenges for many companies including General Atomic, Solar Turbine, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, NASSCO, and LMI Aerospace to name a few.

For the Uprise project, Pete is applying his broad Engineering skillset towards Mechanical, Structural, Electrical, Software and general systems engineering.

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James Hedgecock
Engineer Advanced Composites

Always a problem solver, James studied mechanical engineering at UCSB, which he followed with SDSU's MBA program.

He worked at Sony as a mechanical engineer before transitioning to Dimension One Spas where moved up through the ranks from Product Development Manager to VP of Business Development and ultimately, to COO. 

Prior to joining Uprise, James founded  Bounce Composites where he developed a proprietary manufacturing process using thermoplastic composite material to make products that are extremely durable, without sacrificing weight or performance. 

James runs the blade innovation and manufacturing division for Uprise.

 
 Kanwalinder Singh   Business Advisor   Former SVP, Business Development, Automotive & IoT, Qualcomm President, Qualcomm India and South Asia   L  inkedIn Profile    

Kanwalinder Singh

Business Advisor

Former SVP, Business Development, Automotive & IoT, Qualcomm
President, Qualcomm India and South Asia

LinkedIn Profile

 

 Subramanian Shastri, PhD   Engineering Advisor   Professor of Practice and Director of Industry Partnership at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego   Full Bio

Subramanian Shastri, PhD

Engineering Advisor

Professor of Practice and Director of Industry Partnership at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, University of San Diego

Full Bio

San Diego Regional
Energy Innovation Network

Operated by Cleantech San Diego, the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Network (SDREIN) is a program for startups that are developing solutions to help California meet its energy goals. The program provides access to the resources and facilities of a number of regional partner organizations and connections with industry in order to accelerate the commercialization of emerging energy technologies.

The program is the result of a five-year, $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission awarded in 2016 to advance the San Diego region’s energy innovation industry.

Startupbootcamp
Energy Australia

Startupbootcamp Energy Australia is the leading global accelerator for innovative startups solving problems in Energy Efficiency, Energy Independence, Digitisation and Analytics.

Uprise was selected as one of the Top 10 Energy Startups from a global applicant pool of more than 2000 companies to participate their 2018 cohort in Melbourne.

evonexus

EvoNexus is Southern California’s leading startup technology incubator and hub for the startup community with locations in San Diego and Irvine.

In September 2017 at the Qualcomm Auditorium Uprise competed in EvoNexus's Demo Day against 7 other companies from the incubator at the and came home the victor.